Hello families,

As we close in to our final day, we close in to our final frontier: Chimborazo. Today, everyone woke especially early at 6:00. Some of us woke up even earlier, anxious for the big day. We went to Roma Santa at 7:00 for a hearty breakfast, courtesy of our favorite chef, Isabella. It was rice and chicken with a delicious Ecuadorian drink called Magic, fit to fill up our stomachs for the trek. We said our goodbyes to Isabella and Nelson and took an hour-long bus ride, during which we saw livestock and animals like vacuñas.

Finally, we arrived at the base of the summit of Chimborazo. We were greeted by two tour guides who passionately taught us about the flora and fauna surrounding the mountain as well as its history. Another tour guide sang to us in Quechua to bless our journey to the mountain. Soon after, we made it to the first checkpoint to the summit of Chimborazo, where we found the Simon Bolivar monument and learned of many previous brave explorers who had attempted to scale the mountain.

Even though we didn’t reach any snow, we were at the closest point to the sun any of us will ever be (unless some of us decide to become astronauts). The altitude we reached was 15,800 feet above sea level, which has side effects such as drowsiness, headaches, and increased blood pressure. Many of us felt the air in front of our faces gradually disappear as we went up due to the decreased air pressure. Luckily, everyone descended safely and many of us even went on an hour-long hike through the valleys surrounding Chimborazo.

We got back to Roma Santa at 1:30 and enjoyed a delicious meal of chicken noodle soup, welcoming us back from our intrepid adventure. After that, everyone was welcome to free time until 6:45, when we went to eat dinner at Roma Santa: a zesty pineapple pizza to end a zesty day.

Thanks for reading, everyone! We’ll see you soon!

P.S. from Kim: hello family as you know I haven’t seen any cats in Riobamba but many dogs!!!! Hopefully I don’t come home with one but I was close to bringing one home yesterday.

P.P.S. from Jackson: Hey Mom & Dad. Catch you on the flip side.

P.P.P.S. from Andy: I love you. You know who you are 😉

P.P.P.P.S. from Kim: thank you to my lovely interns you know who you are. 😉